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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  February 24, 2014 9:00am-10:01am EST

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u.n. including comparisons to the nazis, we'll ask former u.s. am bam door tambassador to the u.n. how does hillary clinton compare to john kerr he. kerry. plus a reporter allowed to cover the extremist. and dick cavett on the newton show host. i am antonio mora, welcome to "consider this." here is more a whose ahead. ♪
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>> united nations report is level something extremely allegations against the regime in north korea. kim jong-unby himself may be responsible for crimes against humanity. >> rape, enslavement, torture, murder. >> to capture the national army base. >> suicide bombers have been sent to blow up the main gate. >> our man, jimmy fallon taking over. >> the sixth host in 60 years. >> we are bringing the tonight show back to new york, right! >> it's going to be a big night. ♪ ♪ we begin with a new report on, quote, unspeakable crimes being perpetrateed in north korea and an unprecedented warn to go north korea's leaders. u.n. investigators said monday that supreme leader kim jong unand his security forces could
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face a trial for ordering system attic widespread and gross violations and crimes against humanity based on state policies. a report, michael who wrote the report compared north korea's crimes against its own people to not see a pros toss at thi at ar ii. he had this to say. >> too many times in this building there are reports and no action. this is a time for action. we can't say we didn't know. we all do know. anyone who wants to know with read the report . for more i am please to be joined by will richardson, former governor, ambassador to korea. governor, great to have you back on the show. >> thank you.
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>> i want to start out by listening to something else that michael kerby who chaired the u.n. commission had to say. >> at the end of the second world war, so many people said if only we had known, if only we had known the wrongs that were done in.countries of the hostile forces. if only we had known that. well, now the international community does know. >> governor, now that we know, what are we going to do about it? is the u.n. capable of action in this case? >> well, first, this is a very, very strong report and the fact that the u.n. has documented these cases makes it more significant. we have had reports by human rights groups, by individuals of this kind of activity, now the fact that the international body with the prestige and power of
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the u.n., now what happens next? that's the problem antonio. first, north korea has already been sanctioned to death, mainly for its nuclear weapons program, for its missile tests. so how do you punish it with sanctions, there are not too many sanctions left. the problem practically is any kind of international criminal court action has to be triggered by the u.n. security council. any examination, any war crimes charge, and there it looks like one of the five powers that can veto china would probably veto an effort if they felt that was against north korea's interests. that's happens before. and that's the dilemma. a potential veto by china while the united states, britain, france, and possibly russia, the other four powers that have veto on the security council, the
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permanent members, would want to push it. so china really is the key player once again as it pertains to north korea. >> but at some point, you have to wonder whether that alliance can hold in the light of some of the charges in this report. you go through this, it just absolutely is horrific. they are talking about things like murder, rape, torture, abduction, starvation, slavery. and some specific examples of a woman being made to drowned her own baby. think people impressed and tortured for watching a soap opera. children who have been in prison and starveed from birth. in the light of all that, do you believe this will change anything? >> well, north korea has not followed international norms, they unpredictable. possibly, antonio, possibly kim jong-unthun the new leader sees, he'll read it. there will be some internal
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forces, moderate forces in the military. in the political structure that say we are not going to get any assistance to our starving people to our economy unless there are some changes. that a limited, but possible, possible course that might change things. i wouldn't count on it, but right now i think the best answer is some kind of engagement with kim jong-u.n. un on this report, on weapon weapons reduction. on engaging with south korea on rekindling the six-party talks on reducing the peninsula. somebody has to engage this guy. it can't be dennis rodman. it can't be somebody that isn't going to find ways to moderate what is happening in north korea. which basically is not good, but we don't know anything about this new young lead never which direction he wants to go.
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on the one hand, he is having some human rights talks on reunification of families with south korea. so maybe that's a good, good sign. but when he reads this report, maybe he's going to say, okay, i am ready to talk. i am ready to dialogue. hopefully that will happen. >> on the other hand, though, the north korean government has already category i categorically treat totally rejected the report. there could be hounds of people in the north korean power structure that could conceivably be war criminals is there a danger this might make them dig in a little further and not make them open up and expose themselves to war crimes trials? >> there that is argument that it will create a bunker mentality. but there already is a bunker mentality and these guys don't talk to anybody and they isolate themselves and they provoke other countries, so it basically
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can't get any worse. my hope is that internally, some of the military in north kariya, the party structure, the communist party structure and perhaps kim jong-un sees, look, maybe it's time to change course. we are having a real, real international outcry against us. maybe the time has come to negotiate on nuclear weapons, on the regime itself, on isolating ourselves a lot less than we have. this report might be a kindling. i am always an optimist. can't get any worse right now antonio. >> in going back to china, governor, could it be a kindling there? china is named in the report for possibly aiding and abetting these crimes against humanity. do you think there is any chance that the chinese might be willing to get involved in a more positive way? >> yes, there is a chance. and the chinese have sent
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messages to north korea. stop the detonation of the nuclear devices, stop the launching of missiles. stop the execution. well, we couldn't stop it, but they are perturbed about what's happening, the question is how much leverage are they willing to use to seemed a message to north korea that some of the unteamlunseemly behavior has top it. could be that the chinese government this report and the pressure that they will get in the u.n. security council to do something is going to make the chinese leverage and their actions a lot stronger than they have, and maybe they'll be a slight change. but any slight change is welcome. >> a quite final question for you. little over a year ago, you went to north korea with google executive chairman eric schmidt to try to arrange the release for kenneth bay an american held in north korea since november the 2012. now we hear that he's been sent
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to a labor camp. faces 15 years of hard labor, do you think this report will make things worse for him? >> well, hopefully, hopefully not, but it's unfortunate that the north koreans don't treat kenneth bay as a humanitarian act. and they want on the verge of negotiating with an american an is voir tenvoy to turn him loos. it didn't happen because of some military provocations alleged by the north koreans that we pursued, maybe after this report cools down a little bit, the north koreans will see fit as a humanitarian gesture to let this korean american who has been there the longest, 15 months, who is sick, to come home to his family. >> let's hope they do. but, boy, in looking at this report and seeing hundreds of thousands of people killed, concentration camps all these atrocities it is really a
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horrifying thing to conceive of. governor bill richardson, as always it's great to have you on the show. many thanks. >> thank you. >> an al jazerra america exclusion that i have takes us inside the taliban to give us a glimpse of what the war in afghanistan looks like from the taliban's points of view. even if the u.s. gets the afghan government to agree to a security agreement that would leave some u.s. forces in afghanistan, the first line of resistence to the taliban will be the u.s.-trained afghan national army. al jazerra's fault line shows a journalist following taliban fighters as they attack an afghan national army base. >> i am acutely aware that i wouldn't have been allowed here to film them unless they wanted the world to see what they showed me. >> the fact that they used the media to, you know, to establish their point of view and get their kaza cross, they should. we certainly do. >> it's an unusual and rare insights in to the other side and joining us now to discuss this is michael happen lan
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director of foreign policy research at the brookings institution, he is also the coauthor of the book touching it out in afghanistan he joins us from our washington d c studio. great to have you with us, michael. if the united states withdraws completely is the afghan army ready. this shows the taliban operating freely just an hour way from kabul. >> great questions. any time one unit is attacking another in warfare and the one unit gets to choose the time and lace of the ambush, there is no surprise that they can carry it out. the taliban was able to plan this particular raid does not surprise me . are they at least preventing large concentrations of taliban. with proper patrolling, proper use of intelligence networks
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among the local population. so from what i have seen in the film, i found it fascinate in this sense that it gave more of a direct view of the way this whole war has been going on, i think a lot of people will be curious, they have been reading about the war and seeing statistics on the war for a decade and probably appreciate a feel for what it's like visually and in real time. but it did not strike me as showing some incredibly capable taliban movement against some hapless and helpless afghan army or police. >> right. >> it's a little more complicated. >> this group did not seem terribly strong but were operating freely and walking freely down the streets and fairly close to the capital, which did surprise me. let's take a look at some of the film that focuses on that attack. >> the plan is, they told me, is to capture an afghan national army base. the only thing i know is that they say they are going to fight until they capture the base. they are not going withdraw.
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that told me exactly when they are going to attack. they just said it's going to happen around sunrise. >> so, again, it didn't seem as you said much more than a nuisance a tans, but how well armed are the taliban? >> what i am war i had about with the taliban they are armed in terms of ak47s and rocket propelled grenades and roadside bombs, those are their weapons of choice, the problem is they seem to have almost a limitless supply of fighters. it's not a popular move among the general population and that's important to drive home, but there are certain tribes and groups and headquarters over the border in pakistan which have proven resilient and willing to keep supporting the taliban. you have essential a gorilla movement that is at a level of stays discuss the government cannot beat it down and we haven't been able to beat it down, it's not winning the war. the cities are in government hands. most of the major transportation roads are too. you are correct, certainly, to observe that some of the areas
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around kabul and other cities are contested and that may increase frankly a bit as the nato forces draw down, but my wore is a not so much that it has momentum or popularity or big weapons, just that it's managed to stay resilient throughout the last decade of conflict. that means they will be around a while. i don't expect them to defeat the army or the police, there is a crisis of confidence among the people, spectacular attacks, create sympathy for their point of view and see if they can erode the afghan will in this crucial year of transition. >> this group said that they are not aided by the pakistanis, but certainly they are not as close to pakistan as other groups are which may be getting a lot of aid from them. let's look at more of this attack. inning the taliban wanted the correspondent to go with him in order to show their power, which may have been a little he can an exaggerated. >> and then suddenly the fighting begins
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. the taliban's heavy machine gun isn't ready. >> and the a.n.a. fight back. the taliban soldiers that i am together with have lost two men. it looks like they are not as positive as they were before they started attacking the base. and for these fighters it looks like the situation might be about to get
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worse . >> they certainly lost this en countser and at times seemed hapless but they certainly had in some fire power to go after them. you have written they should not be that pessimistic about the future in afghanistan, the reality is the taliban does not have the numbers of fight that's it had when the soviet withdraw a few decades ago. >> right, well, at that time as you know there was a general national movement . we called them freedom fighters and appreciated what they were doing. they weren't all fighting for a senth century with throw back to centuries ago of lack of education and rights for nonbelievers. they were in that sense in that case just trying to drive an okay prior out of their country. now the people leading the of
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the government were freedom fighters, at that time it was a quarter million strong from all different major tribal groupings today the taliban is from certain parts of the community and it includes 20, 30, 40,000 fighters. that's more than i wish they had. and, again, they have been resilient. they have been able to keep it going. and it's true, get a lot of their support from inside of afghanistan, although they have important sanctuaries for command and control over the border that. business an big part of the problem. it's not a trivial enemy. i acknowledge that. >> do you think the number will grow if americans leave? >> i think the afghan army and police will be really tested and i think if they left altogether, they would face a very difficult year or two with a higher risk of mission failure and of defeat than i would wants of the other thing i am not so sure that the taliban will grow in size quickly. i think what you could see is a crisis of confidence among those afghans who have been trying to believe in the new afghanistan, trying to help build a new nation, trying to move back home if they had gone in exile or just trying to stayed put, live in the city, send their kids to school. believe in the new way of life and new government.
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and all of a sudden, they are going to have doubts. if this -- if this movement -- if the taliban score some spectacular victories if nato withdraws altogether. if the presidential race goes bad lurks we have tonight attentive to those things, if that begins that could lead to a general unraveling of the general support for the government, military, army, that's how i think things could get worse. not by the taliban radically growing in size, i don't think they have the support to grow quickly in size. >> a brief question, the correspondent is an afghan, he was allowed in by the taliban, he had been kidnapped once by them. what do you make of the fact that they allowed him to do what he did? >> i think that in many ways because this attack was relatively small scale and localized and very tip cast thing we are seeing weekly if not daily in afghanistan, i view it as just a microcosm of the whole war and not a big battle or a case where the judgerrist had to really worry because he
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aiding and abetting the enemy and the enemy didn't have to worry that he might give up information that was going crucially they want back. it was such a limited engagement it was just sort i've tiny window in the nature of combat in afghanistan and therefore i personally am not surprised that they let him do it. and i have no major criticism of hits doing so. i am not sure an american could or should have done that. >> michael, thank you very much for joining us. "consider this" will be right back. al jazeera america gives you the total news experience anytime, anywhere.
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33 months ahead of the next presidential election hillary rodham clinton's time as the well-traveled secretary of state is getting its first in-depth book instrument. the flattering portrait offer in hrc. state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton also looks inside the percently clinton machine, find an extended hit list of enemies discusses obama pop tiffs that loathe hillary lan, knowning me are the authors of the book, jonathan allen the white house correspondent for bloomberg and amy senior white house correspondent at the hill. great to have you on the show. jonathan, i'll start with us, many think john kerry as eclipsed her s john kerry looking at history -- doesn't
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feel like he's risking anything while hillary clinton is really looking at the future and what it means for her specifically when it comes to running for president? >> there may be some of that. john kerry's things he's working on right now, syria, iran and, you know, middle east peace are three things that are unresolved and so we don't know how we'll be able to score that, you know, when all things are said and done and in particular with iran, it was state department officials under hillary clinton who first started having the negotiations with the iranians through direct sit downs in 2012. i the joh think the john cay scorecard has inning compliments on it. we go in to great detail. there was no marquis peace deal under her and that's one metric by which she will be measured.
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we think there was a metric that diplomats the first job is to make sure problems don't arise, more than just solving them when they happen you try to head things off at the pass and anecdotes in the book of times where she did that, where there were potential diplomatic disaster that his she headed off. those that criticize her for not having gotten the israeli and the palestinian to his sit down and sing in harmony are accurate that didn't happen. >> you start with the book the clinton hitless why don't we start there, too. it's gotten a lot of attention. what she wrote that she had a hit list and ranked friends and foes it it was numerical from one to seven, one the best, the least helpful. the seven, ted kennedy, john kerry, clara among others, do you buy the line that this was interpreted, amy? >> well, you know, they are saying tha that they don't rely on it or circulate it but it serves as a reminder of people that
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they keep track of their friends and enemies and they are constantly, the clintons are constantly look forward and back. people and how does it pertain to today. it does. clearly if she's running in 2016, it will apply to that. but, you know, bill clinton also went on these revenge cycles in 2010 and 2012 where he actually took out people who didn't support his wife. so i think that this all comes forward in time. >> and both of you, amy, are convinced that there is no question that she hasn't stopped running for president? she has every intention of running in 2016? >> oh, sure. this train is rolling and gaining steam for sure. all of these outside groups have formed around her, she is fundraising, already happening, red for hillary is there. all she needs to do really is decide that she is running and the whole landscape is there for us. now, one thing, jonathan, that the book gives her credit for, talking again about diplomacy is restoring the image around -- of america around the world after the bush years and you certainly bring up some of the positive
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things that bob gates and general petraeus had to say about her. given everything that's happened since you wrote the guts of the book, what we saw in syria, how vladimir putin has reasserted his authority and the whole reset in russian relations seems to have gone way. and, in fact, putin now considered the most powerful person in the world compared to obama. was she actually successful in the long run in restoring that image? >> i think it depends on the country that you are talking about in terms of restoring the image, certainly, you know, the united states has long-term partners in europe, viewed the united states much better during obama's first term than they had during the bush administration and you can measure this in polling across the world the united states' he is scheme grew, we saw some coalitions between the united states and some folks in the gulf cooperation council and the arab league in particular in the invasion of libya that you never would have seen before.
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and so i think there are some places where that's true. there are other countries that obviously have been harder nut to crack in terms of american popularity. it has -- you know, it's almost at nothing in pakistan, for instance. i think there is somewhat of a mix record if you look at the polling it's clear that the united states perceived better around the world today than it was when program took office and when hillary clinch thon took office and share credit in that. >> benghazi, you guys address it, and i suspect that we'll see this in 2016 ads if she runs. >> with all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead americans was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? >> again, amy, that moment i am sure, benghazi tough moment and that we will see in those ads because she has received a lot of criticism in a lot of the reports that have come out recently have been critical of
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the state department. >> it is. you know, we will see that again and again and republican national committee communications director told us as much, there was an ad that mitt romney didn't use when he was running for president, that basically pinpointed obama to benghazi or tried to blame him for it and i think that's an ad that they will play and accuse hill run clinton of having her hands in this, not being prepared and this all happened under her watch. so they are already gearing it up and i think that we can very much pictures to see it in the coming months. >> we have some social media questions for you guys, let's go to hermela for that? >> as you no, hillary clinton has been the subject of many march memes. the late zest hillary as a planet. the original cover story written by amy who discovered hillary extensively in 2008 and even though hillary has announced that she'll run, major
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publications like the new york times, washington post and politico have all designated reporters to focus on her. jonathan, is she in this campaign whether she's declared it or in the? >> the last person to know that hillary clinton is running for president is going to be hillary clinton, the way we frame it in the book and amy and i perceive it, is that she has been running all along and the question is whether she stops running not whether she starts rung. anybody who reads this book will get inside details on how she continues to build the clinton political operation inside the state department while her husband did the same thing outside the state deem. went on the campaign trail, the build the family brand to reward friend, punish enemies to help program in 2012, you know, in hopes that that would be helpful for the clinton brand going forward. there is no question that she has been running for a long time. if she were to stop running i think it would be, you know, certainly the story of the year of 2014. >> now, amy, i would be remised
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if i didn't bring up some of the criticism the boom. you had tremendous access, hillary spoke to you. you had a couple hundred of hillary people who also spoke to you, which is terrific. but you have gotten some criticism that the book is just too favorable to her. your reaction. i don't think that's true at all of we have the leading new york times book critic giving us a solid review along the with washington post and la times the one you are referring to is one piece. >> there was one from john carl in the wall street journal and i think the financial times and the economist also felt that it was a little bit too flattering. >> sure. we talked to people who like her, who don't like her, we talked to republicans who are thinking about running against her. we talked to a lot of different people. so i think that we actually formed a pretty -- you know, we are both journalists, both cover the white house and are impartial and this is the book that we wrote. >> i should point out that both
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sides have used pieces of this book already in their political ammunition, you know, both of those who would defend hillary and those that would attack her have done so using pieces of this book. i just -- you know, the reviewer has the right to his opinion, we don't share it certainly. >> we have one piece, for instance, a health care piece, where hillary clinton is actually very much advocating for health care, rallying obama's candidate around it account republicans are already use this is as a talking point, both side are taking the book and use it for what they want. >> the book again is hrc. state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton. jonathan allen, amy, it's great to have you both on the show. thanks for your time. >> thank you. there's more to finical news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, could striking workers in greece delay your retirement?
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stkphr* the tonight show hosted by johnny carson had 18 million viewers in its heyday, that is twice as much as david letterman, jay leno and jimmal kimmel combined. that is jimmy fallon takes the tonight show throw, a generation that barely knows larson amounts name has more late nightmare fabricio i to choose from and transitions have led to some of
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the greatest debacles in tv history. will late night ever have another king. joining us now is someone who might know. want. he was the host of the dick calf you want show that he was also a writer on the tonight show, he's the author of three books, most yes lent icon fran takes . it's an honor to have you with us. do you ever get tired of being referred to as a legendary. yes, and you did that in one breath. i am impressed. isn't that an ugly word, word, blog, two things you said struck me, one of the most astonishing thing i have read in many a year was a brilliant piece in the new yorker about by a man named me
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menand as in men and women. i learned that when i was let go after many years on abc, my rating at that time was higher than anything leno and the tonight show -- >> have ever achieved. >> stands to reason, you don't think about it. there are so many spread outs now that there aren't people to watch that. >> how big i've deal is this in this tran sixties, you were on jimmy fallon's show the other day. terrific appearance, they recreated the old zest dick cavett show. >> at an expense. >> it must have cost them something, you were an expensive guest. lorne michaels who is will be fallon's executive producer said that fallon is the closest thing he's seen no carson in a general raise, do you agree? >> michaels have proved himself to be a bit of a genius so i would be the last to argue with lorne's opinion of that. sure, jimmy is young, he's college at looking and in his
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way as johnny always was, he is funny, he can ad-lib which is different from being just funny. i mean, in addition to it, and he's witty. and he's appealing. >> he can sing, he can do impressions, he's really multi talented the show is really more of a variety show than talk show. >> though johnny, as they always say was a dear friends of mind, he really was. but there are more talents in mr. fallon just in terms of number -- of impressions, voices, dialects, of musical skills, of a variety of kind and a damn good defense of how to handle a guest. he would never step on your punch line. a terrible thing to happen when you -- it's like a waiter, you know, what would be, that was no lady that was my -- you want some more
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coffee. when a hoist does that to you you want them dead. >> and i see how you would not fallon dead, he's very likeable. unpretentious, both qualities that jay leno had. do you think this might help this transition go better than the one with conan that was a disaster . >> as alluded. that have one of the strangest missemisadventures in the histof media jay up, jay out, jay earlier, jay back, jay high ratings therefore out, wait, doesn't make sense and conan was bruised unmercifully. i think. >> sow ding this might go smoother? do you think this will go more smoothly? >> it should. there is nothing blocking it. i don't see what it could be. now people will be racking their brains to figure out what do we have to do. what's the trick to getting the rate go ahead, what's the trick
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to not letting fall inning fall behind . it's -- fat unis on top of the world at this point. he has everything going for him. and kimmel was good. and they are friends and he knows it. so it's a strange world of animosities and friendships. >> and that brings up an interesting issue which is that in this whole discussion we are hearing a lot about kimmel as the competition, stewart and where is letter man in the conversation, he has the second highest ratings of any late night talk show . >> dave letterman will go until he's stick of it i am sure. and like anybody . there are times when you wish you could do anything other than, teach english, than face whoever is at the studio. whoever it is. johnny was only happy when he was on the air i think.
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with that mother. and wife problems and alcohol problems and he was so tense. that i felt so sorry for him when i worked him base i liked him so much. and i thought, the battle he has sitting there in his t-shirt and the office smoking a cigarette that he knew was going to kill him and d and pulled himself together and stubbed out his last cigarette -- well, he used to smoke on the air and he went out with such class and command and just draught are brought tears to my old and then young eyes. >> we have a social media question to you. let's go to hermela. >> oh, okay. >> fall sun a powerful on social media on twitter 11 million followers, letterman doesn't even hit the 1 million mark. the youtube hash tag conversation he
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ha he had online had so many viewers. will i didn't think people watch the so or just watch the clips online? >> all i could think of is if you suggested to jack par people are going to react to your show while they are on the air, during the show, he would have blown up and it would have made it in pieces and taken lives around him. i think it's a nice thing. although i don't know how i could do it. i can't conceive of having sat there with hepburn or brando or people i enlargedly got that couldn't be gotten. and been irritated and bugged by people calling in to the show. i know you are also talking about the fact that nothing has to be seen when it's on the air anymore base you can catch it the next day. you can get it on your device or that device, a friend will tell you that he just found it somewhere else and it's changed everything. have i slid off that question? >> no, you have not.
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i am a good slider. >> gate you back to it. >> gently. >> i'll try . as someone who did it for so many year old in so many different combats, what do you think, is there any way if somebody else really dominating late night now or are we just in a different ube universe where the audience is so explain territory where nobody will go the king of late night. >> i think you are asking me if there would be another king of the night. >> exactly. >> that was one of the books about johnny and i did it in bella although l lagos i's voict know why. things are so disbursed there may not be any way of somebody killings everyone else. the other thing i learned in the new yorker article, was that johnny carson, this may be an exclusive for you, johnny carson, his friend, swiftie lazar, told me in strict confidence once, -- i better not
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tell it. >> no, no, no. >> said dick, while the people are alive don't tell it, but johnny said once to me, over a drink, cavett is the only one that could me, could have beat me if he had a full station lineup n that article i learned for the first time four year old ago that abc had about a third fewer stations than nba. >> so you just weren't on. >> i could laugh off the idea of they are going to knock johnny off the thrown. >> that must have been nice to hear that carson thought that about you. >> that havthat was nice. and he also this may be another exclusive. i am really blurting them out. once he said richard i wish i hadn't dropped that half hour. >> it was an hour and a half. >> i wish i wouldn't have shortened show. >> it was 90 minutes. >> and it may take us back to johnny like so many entertainers
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and show business babies and monsters and giants and creeps and wonders, was happiest at work. >> maybe you should come back to late night and be the king of late night again. >> got an offer? [laughter] >> i'll talk to the al jazerra folks and see what they say. dick cavett. >> you didn't hear that i was going to be jimmy fal fallon's e kick yet. >> another exclusive. it is really an honor to have you on the show. >> you are among the very best. >> thank you very much, and i hope that doesn't make new to pinocchio. but thank you. "consider this" will be right back. >> heavily armed, combat tactics >> every little podunk wants their tank and their bazooka... >> with s.w.a.t. raids on the rise... >> when it goes wrong, it goes extremely wrong... >> what's the price for militarizing our police
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>> this is the real deal man...
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pr*pl does itpresident obamt millions of mens do i americans. we are talking about binge watching. a lot of people spent the past few days watching every episode of house of cards, some critics worry that binge watching is a new addition, is that much ado about nothing, alex joined us from mountain view, california, he's a senior consultant at extrstrategic business insight d his work has appeared in salons, slate and on the huffington post, he's the author of the distraction addiction getting the information you need and communication you want without enraging your family, annoying your colleagues and destroying your soul. good to have you on the show, this is happening more and more offense because we can. in the old days if you didn't
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catch a tv show when it aired you were done and couldn't see it again, now you can watch all five seasons of lost whenever you want and you have written that can be a restorative experience, why? >> it's seven seasons of lost. >> i missed two. >> people must already be tweeting that about that. >> i saw them all it felt like five. >> restorative experience is one that mentally charges you, and it's got a couple important features, it is endlessly fascinating but it's effortlessly fascinating as well. and so for different people, different -- different kind of activities fulfill this, for some people, it's, you know, literature, or science fix fix , some people it's hiking, exposure to nature, rebuilding cars, heavy duty mechanic design stuff but the people that i have been interviewing who are
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dedicated binge watchers talk about watching shows like game of throwns or the wire or house of cards using very much the same kind of language that people use for going to the theater or opera. that's what binge watching is. it turns out to be restorative because it captures their attention easily, it transports them to another world. and it gives them the opportunity to kind of engage mentally, but with something that is kind of outside their normal every day lives. >> that sounds all nice and good but even your book called the distraction addiction and you talk about how to avoid enraging your family and i know people who become entirely antisocial while they binge watch shows like breaking bad and house of cards, my wife and daughter among them, doesn't this lead to antisocial behavior?
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you can't have a conversation with your family. >> i think if you dig a little bit deeper, what you see is that it's a different kind of socialbility. for one thing, people almost always choose shows on the basis of friend recommendations and partly because maybe their friends are peppering their conversation with, you know, with ron swanson parks and recognize references and the rec references and they want to get in on it. while you can argue that watching something for two or three hours, yes, those particular moments may not be quite a social, but the broader phenomenon can be -- the other thing is too that plenty of us binge watch with other people or with our kids. >> and there is also the whole social media component. i posted some obnoxious comment about how i think this season of house is cards is silly now that i am four episodes in. and i got a tremendous response.
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now, that connected me to a lot of people that i don't talk to all that often. but some online critics they are saying this is an actual addiction, i think that's probably pretty silly. it's not like drugs and alcohol. but it can take over an enormous amount of somebody's life. >> well, sure. but, you know, i think that, again, the people that i have been talking to about it are very strategic and thoughtful first of all about the shows that they watch and second, when they watch it. so they don't necessarily go and start season one of the sopranos when they've got other things that they need to really focus on, you save it until the en of the semester or project. and you know, technology comes love the idea of their products being addictive. this is in the design world creating video games that are addictive is what everyone wants to do. and fundamentally, technology and media don't work the way that things that are genuinely
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addictive like tobacco and alcohol and drugs to. you know, net flicks, amazon prime, these other services they do do things on their sites to try to encourage you to watch more . by i don't think that people are by and large finding themselves in the position of not being able to resist another episode. not being able to turn it off, where you know, when it's time to go off -- when you really need to go and sort of do other things in your life. >> you must have not watched 24 in a binge kind of watching way. i know a lot of people who couldn't stop watching that. how about our attention spans what does this mean about our attention spans? we always hear it's shrinking, does binge watching actually combat that. i think that's a great question and i think actually that binge watching does. you know, you think of sort of social media or watching little videos on youtube as chopping up your attention, right? and one of the definitive
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features i think of binge watching is that it's something that people engage in in order to have an experience of of -- of stretching out their attention. of being able to focus on things for long periods of time. often intricate stories, things with compelling plots really strong acting. but also it's -- it gives them an opportunity to watch in away that lets them pick up the nuances i've show or pay attention minor characters or recurring things that you wouldn't necessarily notice if you were watching one hour per week. you know, lesion like the color of the clothing of different characters in breaking bad which apparently turns out to follow this incredibly sophisticated pallet depending on what plot trajectories. that's the sort of thing that you don't necessarily notice if you are watching over the course of months or years, but you can over the
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course of weeks or days. >> a lot of interesting questions about what this will mean, one that we'll leave for another day is how binge watching will actually affect broadcast television and television production in general. we'll have to loaf it there, alex, the author of the book, the did traction addiction it's great to have you on the show. thanks very much. >> thank you. it's great to be on. >> the show may be over but the conversation continues on our website you can also follow us on twitter at ajconsiderthis. we'll see you next time. >> i'm joie chen, i'm the host of america tonight, we're revolutionary because we're going back to doing best of storytelling. we have an ouportunity to really reach out and really talk to voices that we haven't heard before... i think al jazeera america is a watershed moment for
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american journalism >> a warm welcome to this hour of aljazeera news hour. these are stories we're covering in detail in the next 60 minutes. wanted now for mass murder, an arrest warrant is issued for ukraine's fugitive president. >> stepping down, egypt's prime minister said his government is to resign. >> uganda's president signs a law that could see gay people jailed for 14 years. >> in london with


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